Individual Differences in Teacher Hopelessness: Examining the Significance of Personal and Professional Factors
Keywords:Hopelessness, English language teachers, Professional characteristics, Survey study
This research aimed to examine teachers’ level of experienced hopelessness across diverse personal and professional characteristics. This survey study, with a sample of 297 English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers who were working in private language schools in Iran, was an attempt to understand whether there were significant individual differences in the hopelessness feelings of teachers. To this end, participants completed the Personal Information Scale and the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS) to collect their personal and professional information and determine the level of experienced hopelessness. The results indicated a mild level of hopelessness experienced by the study sample with different levels of experience in the BHS dimensions. Upon further data analysis, we found no significant differences between teachers’ hopelessness level and their gender and education. However, significant results were found for the effects of teacher age, teaching experience, and the educational level they serve on the rates of experienced hopelessness. More precisely, older teachers with more than 16 years of professional experience who were teaching advanced adult students were more susceptible to experiencing hopelessness than their younger colleagues with less professional experience. Further implications are discussed.
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